Thursday, September 3, 2009

Travels in Amsterdam~ Alternative Spaces

The canals of Amsterdam are lined with houseboats. There is something appealing about floating in the midst of a busy waterway, in the heart of city life. The boats are as individual as their occupants, painted brightly and decorated with hanging plants and birdhouses.

Houseboat interiors are surprisingly spacious and not at all dark or dreary. Though the ceilings are low, many houseboats are flooded with light through skylights. Each little nook is cozy and there is a sense of well being from living simply.

If I were living here, I’d enjoy my city boat pied de terre, but would prefer to call a windmill in the countryside home. Here, the space is vertical, soaring. I love the movement of the mechanism, the thought of giant gears in the attic. The spaces here are cozy as well, with beds in cupboards, snug from the warmth of a woodstove, and shielded from the encircling wind.

I am charmed by the idea living in Nature, separated by only a thatched wall. I love looking out at sheep grazing and the lush green grass, veined with water moved by the mill, of the creaking rhythm of moving gears and the endless, endless sky.


Melody Phaneuf
is a Boston Artist, well known for her evocative landscape, still life, and portrait paintings. Her work is regularly on view at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street; at Fenway Studios, Boston by appointment; and North Shore Art in Gloucester from May through October. Phaneuf has exhibited her paintings at The National Arts Club in New York City, Galerie Herouet in Paris, and with Art du Monde, in Japan.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo showcases the artist’s original paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints, and handmade note cards. Online ordering at

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